HSBC has become the latest bank to tighten the screws on Qantas Points earn. HSBC has been writing to cardholders advising that they will be introducing a tiered earning level as from 1 August, 2015. At this stage the change will only be affecting cardholders that opened a HSBC Platinum Qantas card prior to 30 November, 2014.
For affected customers, the changes will mean (cardholders prior ro 30 November, 2014):
A new tiered earning level: The earn will be a 1:1 earning rate on all eligble spend on amounts up to $2,500 per month, Any spend above the $2,500 in the month, will earn at the rate of 1 point for each $2 of spend. At present, the earn rate is 1 point per dollar on elgible spend up to a limit of 300,000 points per year. Note that the limit of 300,000 point still applies, it will just take a somewhat greater spend to get there.
No bonus on overseas spend: The current terms allow for an earn rate of 2 points per Australian dollar equivalent when spending overseas. This will reduce to the standard 1 point per dollar earn rate.
Qantas Club Passes discontinued: The current provision of 2 Qantas Club passes per year will be discontinued from 1 August, 2015
Pay Wave coming
It’s not all bad news, as the cards will soon be re-issued with Paywave enabled. This will allow for easier payment of small amounts of money (transactions less than $100), and brings the card into line with most other cards in the market.
For cardholders that signed up on or after December 1 2014, there are no immediate changes to the earn rate. However, HSBC has advised that the new earnings rate will apply to those customers in the next year. HSBC will be writing to affected customers at a later date to advise them when their changes will be coming into play.
The change is quite similar to a change Woolworths Money made in February this year with its Qantas Platinum Visa card. This chnage also introduced a tiered earning level of one point per dollar on the first $2,500 spent each month and 0.5 points per dollar thereafter.